Flying Swordsgirl (Review)
aka The Flying Killer aka Nu fei xia aka 女飛俠
Directed by Lu Chun and Hu Peng
Written by Yang Tao
It’s a jungle girl action flick with a kid jungle girl and kung fu revenge with Flying Swordsgirl! Yes, this Tarzeena of the forest is just a jungle girl teaching her young sister how to jungle girl when a kung fu movie plot washes ashore and pulls them into the picture! Soon, revenge is revenging, secrets are revealing, jungle girls are murdering bad dudes, and monkeys are trapping people in nets. This rumble in the jungle is no bungle, but is quite entertaining. So let’s jump right in, warm up your kazoos, it’s Flying Swordsgirl time!
Presented in First Scope!! Whatever the frak that is! Thanks to this being old and Taiwan not taking care of their films, the print is all scratched up (like it was stored in an actual jungle or something…) and the colors washed out. The film goes by several titles as versions kept getting released with new names for extra money from suckers value. Heck, even this copy of the print has an alternate name (The Flying Killer!)
In the jungle, everyone constantly wipes their nose with their hand and scratches their hair. There are no Kleenex or allergy pills in the jungle! In addition, every time jungle girl flies, we get a kazoo blast. This is pretty hilarious, because why not? Flight of the kazoo girl!
We open with Feng Yao teaching her younger sister Hsiao Wei how to fly in the trees. We also meet Grandpa, an old hermit in the forest who tells the girls about how he became a recluse. After his first wife was killed and his son kidnapped when Grandpa was lured away by false claims of treasure, he eventually became a knight at Feng Yun Manor, controlling a large estate. But his new wife poisoned him with aid of her lover, and he was barely saved and ran off to be a hermit, leaving behind his son and daughter.
The jungle girls go fishing, but the catch of the day is a guy who is half drowned! They save him, and find out he is Ku Tien Pen of the Feng Yun Manor. He tells that his home was invaded by bad guys with swords, led by the evil Lo Ta Lung. Everyone was killed – including grandpa’s former wife and her lover – and he barely escaped. His sister Ku Hsiu Lien was captured, and is interrogated about the location of a treasure she knows nothing about.
Ku Tien Pen is still badly injured, and Feng Yao mocks him when he tries to return for revenge, instead disabling his raft and trapping him. She goes herself, stopping a bad guy named Wen Fu from raping a girl and bringing them both back – mistakenly thinking the girl is the sister Ku Hsiu Lien.
The captured baddie Wen Fu is put in a cave and guarded by Chin Chin. Now, there is a rope handle next to Chin Chin, and I am convinced the point was to show the monkey pulling the rope to trigger the net trap that pops up when Wen Fu tries to escape, but the monkey just looks at the rope and walks away. Monkeys.
Ku Tien Pen tries to kill Wen Fu, only to be caught in a net himself. Again, Chin Chin doesn’t move and it is just implied that he captured him with the net. Monkeys.
Humiliated, Ku Tien Pen runs back to the manor for revenge and to prove his manhood. He has an odd fighting stance -back stiff, head slightly bowed, sword arm low, other arm limp – that arm is supposed to be injured, so this must be some sort of injured fighting stance. In any event, he’s easily outclassed by Lo Ta Lung, and Feng Yao saves him again.
But now Hsiao Wei is missing, and so is Wen Fu. Yes, she’s kidnapped and brought back to manor by Wen Fu, then forced to lead men to the jungle location where Ku Tien Pen is at. Chin Chin drops a bunch of rocks on the goons thanks to a trap – Chin Chin is written as like a super genius monkey, too bad the real monkey just sits there. That must be why they then write him out of the film all together and he’s not seen again. Monkeys.
The baddies try to burn Ku Tien Pen out of the cave he’s in, but he just escapes out of a back door that Feng Yao shows him, and they kill most of the goons, but Wen Fu leaves with Hsiao Wei still as a hostage. Feng Yao storms the house and saves her sister, but is hit with a poison dart on the way back. The dart is so poisonous it causes her wound to smoke!
Grandpa gives her medicine to help heal the wound, but the bad guys have returned to the jungle, this time bringing everyone, including Wen Fu and Lo Ta Lung. Hsaio Wei starts hitting them with a coconut catapult that fires four nuts at once. But it is not enough to stop the large amount of evil goons. The heroes are forced to hide at Grandpa’s place, who agrees to help and fights Lo Ta Lung. Feng Yao and Ku Tien Pen fight the remaining goons and Wen Fu, with Hsiao Wei occasionally throwing a knife into the back of a baddie. After each time she gets a huge thumbs up from Feng Yao.
Lo Ta Lung is given a fatal blow, but he has enough time before dying to say that Wen Fu was Grandpa’s first son, and since Wen Fu just killed Ku Tien Pen, he killed his own brother! Then he dies, and Wen Fu has a huge mental breakdown after realizing who he really is and what he has done. I like that they show this happening, too many of these older flicks end the second after the bad guy dies (or even occasionally, just as the bad guy dies and before he even has had a chance to fall to the ground dead!) Flying Swordsgirl is not afraid to show the consequences of the traumatic battle and the result of being kidnapped and brainwashed into doing horrible things your entire life. Wen Fu vows to atone for his deeds by giving up all worldly possessions and joining his father as a hermit in the jungle. They will even divide up the manor and give it to the poor. Hey, remember the SISTER??? No? She’s still in a cage at the home you are selling, and might not want to sell it. Oh well. The film is ending now.
There was a fair amount of action, but it was more of a juvenile bent, with not a lot of blood and guts or bad things happening, and the kid sidekick thrown in. Some of it – such as the coconut catapult – was just downright silly. And the kazoo sound as Feng Yao flies is also funny. But the pacing was pretty fast, and even though a few fights showed obvious choreography and slowing down of the actors to do the complicated movies, it was still fun. We all know that Feng Yao isn’t going to die, and she just does one superheroic deed after another. She’s an unstoppable force. You won’t be bored when watching Flying Swordsgirl. I also liked that they didn’t shoehorn in a love interest for Feng Yao, she helps Ku Tien Pen because it is the right thing to do, not because she loves him.
Rated 8/10 (firsties, traitor wife, her new man, daughter Judy, village in the treetops, rescued random girl, tiger darts, wounds that hurt)
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